Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Best New English Mangas of 2017

2017 had a huge list of mangas that started to be published in English for the first time. And it is literally a daunting task to sift through these and find out the cream of the crop.

But once again I will try to keep my list short, so that you won't be disappointed picking up any of these series'.

(PS: In no particular order of preference is this list created and only new series' that started being published in English for the first time were the main selection criteria.)

"Dragon Ball Super"
Written by Akira Toriyama
Art by Toyotaro
Published by Viz Media

Goku’s adventure from the best-selling classic manga Dragon Ball continues in this new series written by Akira Toriyama himself!
Ever since Goku became Earth’s greatest hero and gathered the seven Dragon Balls to defeat the evil Boo, his life on Earth has grown a little dull. But new threats loom overhead, and Goku and his friends will have to defend the planet once again in this continuation of Akira Toriyama’s best-selling series, Dragon Ball!
Having defeated Boo, Goku is starting to get bored with his life on Earth. His wife, Chi-chi, wants him to get a job, but all he wants to do is train and fight stronger enemies. Elsewhere in the universe, the God of Destruction, Beerus, and his attendant Whis are traveling from planet to planet in search of food and entertainment. After blowing up some hapless victims, Beerus is reminded of a man from his dreams with the moniker “Super Saiyan God,” or something like that... The God of Destruction sets his sights on Earth to track down this mysterious man! Maybe this will give Goku something to do?

[ Well, I have been a fan of Dragon Ball since my childhood and this is a new sequel written by 'Akira Toriyama'. I have bought the first two volumes as physical copies and loving it so far. ]

"Delicious in Dungeon"
Story & Art by Ryoko Kui
Published by Yen Press

When young adventurer Laios and his company are attacked and soundly thrashed by a dragon deep in a dungeon, the party loses all its money and provisions...and a member! They're eager to go back and save her, but there is just one problem: If they set out with no food or coin to speak of, they're sure to starve on the way! But Laios comes up with a brilliant idea: "Let's eat the monsters!" Slimes, basilisks, and even dragons...none are safe from the appetites of these dungeon-crawling gourmands!
[ A dungeon fantasy cooking hybrid manga, quite a unique setting indeed. Although I am yet to read the official translated release, I have read some of the fan translations previously and loved the unique humor. This one has won a few awards too. ]

"Golden Kamuy"
Story & Art by Satoru Noda
Published by Viz Media

A tale of high adventure and survival on the Japanese frontier!
In the early 20th century, Russo-Japanese War veteran Saichi Sugimoto searches the wilderness of the Japanese frontier of Hokkaido for a hoard of hidden gold. With only a cryptic map and a native Ainu girl to help him, Saichi must also deal with every murderous cutthroat, bandit and rogue who knows about the treasure!
Immortal Sugimoto, a survivor of the assault on 203 Meter Hill during the Russo-Japanese War, now scratches out a meager existence in the post-war gold rush in the wild frontier of Hokkaido. A chance encounter in the woods puts a map to a hidden fortune of Ainu gold in his hands, but Sugimoto is not the only interested party, and everyone who knows about the gold will kill to possess it!"

[ Another award winning manga with a unique setting. It is strong historical manga with rich detail and it is quite apparent that the author has done his research. ]

"Land of the Lustrous"
Story & Art by Haruko Ichikawa
Published by Kodansha Comics

An elegant new action manga for fans of Sailor Moon and the litany of comics and animation that it inspired, Land of the Lustrous is set in a far future Earth, where humanity's distant descendants live on in a small group of sexless crystalline beings who must fight off an invasion from the Moon.
The young gem Phosphorite can't seem to do anything right. "Phos" has nothing but a big mouth and guts. Cinnabar, a classmate, is a loner, shunned by the other gems because of the toxins emitted from their body. But when they get together, they will learn that they both have an essential role to play in the fight against the Moonfolk, who are intent on coming to Earth to abduct the gem folk and destroy their world. A beautifully-drawn new action manga from Haruko Ichikawa, winner of the Osamu Tezuka Cultural Prize.

[ I was quite impressed by the first volume of this series and looking forward to the anime. An unorthodox manga focusing more on art to create the atmosphere and the setting is original too. ]

"Captain Harlock Space Pirate: Dimensional Voyage"
Written by Leiji Matsumoto
Art by Kouiti Shimaboshi
Published by Seven Seas

In the face of an impending alien invasion by the beautiful and deadly Mazon, the decayed and weakened Earth has little hope of defending itself. While the planet's corrupt politicians ignore the growing threat, Tadashi Daiba is one of the few people left still willing to put up a fight. He's just one person, nigh powerless on his own -- until he joins the ranks with the greatest space pirate the world has ever known: Captain Harlock! Together with Harlock and his ragtag crew aboard the space battleship Arcadia, they will journey through space, fighting not only the Mazon, but other dark forces that threaten humanity's existence.

[ This is a retelling of Space Pirate Harlock's saga and it is done quite skillfully. I have read the first volume and interested following the story. The artwork is also quite gorgeous. ]
"To Your Eternity"
Story & Art by Yoshitoki Oima
Published by Kodansha Comics

A new manga from the creator of the acclaimed A Silent Voice, featuring intimate, emotional drama and an epic story spanning time and space...
A lonely boy wandering the Arctic regions of North America meets a wolf, and the two become fast friends, depending on each other to survive the harsh environment. But the boy has a history, and the wolf is more than meets the eye as well... To Your Eternity is a totally unique and moving manga about death, life, reincarnation, and the nature of love.

[ A new manga from the writer of 'A Silent Voice', and yet another masterpiece of amazing storytelling. This guy is the real deal, it seems. ]

"Altair: A Record of Battles"
Story & Art by Kotono Kato
Published by Kodansha Comics

For generations the Turkiye Devleti and the Balt-Rhein Empire have stood in stern opposition of each other. Then one night, when an imperial minister is found assassinated, the two nations are plunged into a potentially explosive situation! As the generals of Turkiye's council cry for war, Mahmut comes to discover the devious truth behind the assassination! Thus the young pasha's battle for his country, peace and trust in his fellow man begins!

[ Another historical manga, and this one has a setting I never though I would see in this medium. A shounen manga focusing on the Ottoman Empire setting, this one is done quite well. Refreshingly original stuff. ]

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